Thursday, February 17, 2005

Blatant Intolerance?

Same-sex marriage is quite a hot issue these days in Canada. After reading a story from CBC today about how people on the opposing force were going to start putting up lawn signs, I was compelled to write this letter (likely falling on deaf ears) to www.defendmarriage.ca:
Hello,

I'm afraid I can't understand how this sort of organization can exist in a free and liberal country like canada. I am shocked and apalled by your outright intolerance for people who have a different opinion than yours. Freedom shouldn't be limited by people like you. Freedom in this country allows all kinds of wonderful different cultures and religions to coexist, even if they dont have the same opinion. and that's all this is, a question of coexistance and tolerance.

the people you want to deny freedoms to aren't going to offend you by coming over to your house and having gay sex on your lawn. they are going to have their special relationship with the people they love, theyre going to likely keep to themselves, and the priest/minister at your particular church isnt going to be the one marrying them anyhow. nor will anyone be prosecuted for refusing to perform marriage ceremonies. there are people willing to perform the ceremonies, and theres no reason anyone should be forced to do so, let alone anyone wanting someone unwilling to actually perform said ceremony.

Your ideas that homosexuality and gay marriage isn't "moral" is based upon your religious convictions that not everyone shares. You don't see a lot of religious intolerance going on in canada do you? this is what you're practicing. the separation between clergy and government has been apparent to everyone for some time now, except you, who insist that they are still linked in some important way, and that your beliefs should be the ones that the government uses in creating law, when they are just as legitimate as anyone elses. This is a democracy and not a church-head government.

I myself, am not gay, but I will fight for the rights and freedoms of anyone who is being opressed by such nazis as yourselves.


I also recently learned that my sister was on the opposing side of this issue, and I'm not quite sure how to feel about that. If I have a discussion with her about it, will it be a standing issue with our family?

Anyways, post your comments about it if you're reading this.

Monday, February 14, 2005

High Seas Adventure

Another crazy weekend passes.

Friday I broke down and finally got myself a new car stereo. I've been reluctant to get one since I don't like my car getting broken into. And the more flashy stuff you have for your car, the more some young punk wants to smash your windows in to get it. I went to future shop and had the guy over there put in the stereo. I could have done it myself really, but I dont exactly have a nice warm garage to work in, do I? I got a Clarion MP3CD deck with a removable faceplate, and a matched set of Sony speakers. Not too expensive, but a whole lot nicer than the stock stereo. I found it was hard to get specs on the stock stereo. I couldnt find what wattage the speakers/deck was, what impedance, or anything. Till I took it all out :) my old speakers were an unimpressive 15W. my new ones are 50W. Ok, I know, speaker power doesn't equal speaker fidelity, but these really are a whole lot nicer sound quality wise. The big selling feature for the new deck is that it has AUX input, so I can hook it up to my iPod shuffle.

So, after the stereo was installed, myself, Jeremy, Laurie, and Loralei crammed in the car and went off to montreal to see Neko Case. After some mis-navigation, and some parking adventures, we finally made it downtown in time to catch the last few songs of the opening band, so we didn't miss much. We were able to squeeze down to front-and-center without much trouble at all, so we had a great up close view of all the stage happenings. I forget the name of the openers, but they were pretty good. some technical difficulties happened to them with a couple of shattered drumsticks, but they kept on kicking. Then the Sadies came on stage and played a thorougly impressive set. This was the first time I've seen or heard the Sadies, but now I'm a fan. Then after a short break, Neko came on stage with the sadies backing her up. Her set this time was almost completely different from the other times I've seen her live (this was #4). She had a ton of new material to present from The Tigers Have Spoken, and some stuff that hasn't been recorded yet. All very nice, she never disappoints, especially in live shows. If you get the chance to see her live, you will certainly get your moneys worth.

Saturday was being lazy and playing Sid Meier's Pirates! for the morning (what pirates?). Quite a well done and addicting game. I'm really impressed with it in all aspects. It's got nice graphics, it's very open-ended gameplay, and nice mechanics. You can play through it however you wish, being a trader, a feared pirate of the carribean, choose to work for one nation, or all of them. Cities and settlements flourish or suffer based on what comes their way as far as immigrants, trading ships, payroll, grain, etc. so what you escort, or what you pillage has an immediate effect on the environment. there's a good variety of missions and things to keep you occupied. the game starts out nice and easy, and gives you the option to ramp up the difficulty when it feels you're ready. Like all Sid Meier games (Civilizations, etc.) there's too much detail and depth to cover here. It gets a 9/10 rating from me :)

Late Saturday afternoon was going down to see the ice sculptures from winterlude. It's been warm the last week or so, which isnt so great for the sculptures. So some of them were a little droopy, but there were still some in progress that looked very sharp, and some of the smaller ones were in good shape. I'll be posting some pictures on the rogers site later.

Sunday morning was crepe-fest at our place, and we tried out a whole bunch of sugary fillings. Apples, cinnamon and brown sugar. Nutella and banana. And our try at the kilaloe sunrise (sugar, cinnamon, and lemon juice) a popular beaver-tail flavoring. More Pirates! followed the crepe sugar shock.

Sunday night was gaming over at laurie and jeremy's place. ate some awesome lasange and played a couple rounds of bohnaparte and mystery of the abbey. Broke out Bohnaparte for the first time. It's an interesting add-on for Bohnanaza that adds a layer of complexity to keep things interesting. Mystery of the Abbey went really well. That game depends mostly on the players to make it interesting, and we were in good company there.

So with the crazy schedule going on lately, I think I really need to take a night or two to exclusively clean the apartment, there's just been no time for anything chores related, so things are falling behind.

Good times :)

Friday, February 11, 2005

Gaming Spree

The boardgame streak continues. I picked up a bunch of new games that I'm fairly impressed with last weekend. The problem now is that the rate of new games coming in seems to be so high that we haven't even played all of them yet, let alone played them enough to start getting more strategy. Some highlights of the new bunch: Pirates Cove, Mystery of the Abbey, San Juan, Memoir '44, and Groo the Game.

Sadly I couldn't stop myself from ordering even more, and doing even more research past that to plan my next 5 or 6 game purchases in the next few months. There are fantastic resources on the web for boardgames right now at Boardgamegeek, and a few other sites where veteran gamers give insights into the good and bad of every game.

I've been itching to play unreal tournament 2004 again, if I could only convince some of my friends to play along with me, but they seem to have no time for me these days. Also, world of warcraft has kind of gone by the wayside. Lately I haven't played for weeks at a time. I usually only play when Nick is online with me, so that we level at the same rate. but he's been too busy to log on, so I don't bother. Kind of a waste of a montly subscription when you only play a couple hours a month. Oh well, maybe someday all our schedules will calm down a little.

In work news, my contract has been extended for another 3 months past march, which lands me in July. Hoping for another extension past that, because the job market in Ottawa in July is deader than ODB. It would almost make sense to try to get another contract elsewhere, for a longer period now, while the jobs are available this spring. But at least this is a 3 month guarantee, so I'll take what I can get. I still have the option of taking another position and ditching this contract, but thats kind of burning my bridges, and in a small IT community like Ottawa, I'd hate to do that. Everywhere I go, I meet someone who was working with me on another contract.

The new phoneline with Vonage is working great. I really like it. I think I'll be switching off the old phone soon. It's too bad they couldnt carry over my old phone number, but I guess I'll have to do my best to let everyone know about the change, and/or have sprint forward all calls for the next few months to the new number.

Sunday, February 06, 2005

Everyone needs to STFU

Especially when I'm trying to read damnit! everyone at work keeps on flapping their gums while im trying to work, and I could barely drown them out with my ipod. And everyone else seems to ignore the fact that I might be busy reading or doing something important. At least just ask if I'm busy before yapping away for god sakes. Then they get pissed off when I don't listen to them, or only get half of what they're saying because im trying to pay attention to what I'm doing.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Television rules the nation

Who has time for TV these days anyhow? The title of this post is a reference to Daft Punk's soon-to-be-released album. The new album is relatively simplistic electronica, but still attractive somehow.

So, I've been really busy. mostly with work. But I started going to the gym 5 days a week, so that really eats into my time. spend about 1 1/2 to 2 hours per session, it really adds up. its fun though, and I'm getting in shape gradually.

At work, for some reason, I keep volunteering to take on new work. So as soon as I'm done of one thing, I get 2 new tasks to take care of. Apparently I have to make it look like I'm more busy than I actually am.

I signed up for phone service with Vonage. It should be cool, but ill keep my old phone until im suitably impressed with it. all the features seem nice, and Loralei can call her sister in London for free. VoIP is the way of the future :)